The Matrix 4 is the latest Hollywood production to be hit by the growing coronavirus outbreak. Warner Bros. has decided to halt filming on the highly-anticipated sci-fi sequel as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the cast and crew, as well as locals in upcoming filming locations. This comes after Disney, Netflix and other major studios have similarly had to stop many major productions due to the global pandemic.

According to several reports, The Matrix 4 had wrapped filming in San Francisco and was moving on to film in Germany. However, with Europe recently being declared the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, shooting will now be held off. There is no word on how soon filming will resume. Recently, Warner Bros. also paused production on The Batman for at least two weeks. It's expected the studio will exercise similar precautions with its affected productions. Previously, it looked like the long-awaited sequel was going to continue as planned, but with the situation evolving rapidly across the globe, it has become increasingly difficult to predict and progressively extreme measures are being taken to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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Warner Bros. also recently postponed filming on Fantastic Beasts 3, which had been gearing up to begin production. Disney similarly had to stop production on movies such as Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley, Ridley Scott's The Last Duel and other upcoming projects such as the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid and the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel Shrunk. This all comes as many major releases from several studios, including A Quiet Place: Part II, Mulan, The New Mutants, F9 and No Time to Die have been delayed due to movie theaters being shut down in many major markets around the world, with Los Angeles and New York City recently closing theaters in the U.S.

Little has been revealed about The Matrix 4 so far. We know that both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will be returning as Neo and Trinity, respectively, with both actors spotted on set while filming was taking place in San Francisco. Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the original trilogy alongside her sister Lilly Wachowski, is returning to helm the movie, working from a script she co-wrote with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon. Warner Bros. had been looking to reintroduce the franchise for several years and this is expected to be one of the studio's biggest releases in 2021.

The cast also includes Jada Pinkett Smith, who will be reprising her role as Niobe. Newcomers include Priyanka Chopra, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Toby Onwumere, Brian J. Smith, Andrew Caldwell and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. There is no word currently on whether or not the delay in production will also delay the release date. At present, The Matrix 4 is set to hit theaters on May 21, 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further updates are made available. This news comes to us via Variety.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott